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Sony sitting on different PlayStation 3 model choices

With retailer reports indicating the impending discontinuation of the 80GB PlayStation 3, many are left wondering what will come to take the place of Sony’s high-end console SKU. Supposed insiders are pointing to a new model with a 120 to 160GB hard drive and the new DualShock 3 controller, though Sony denies such plans.

The latest word, however, is that Sony itself has yet to decide on its next PlayStation 3 model. GameDaily cites a source close to Sony that SCEI is currently holding meetings to settle on what the next package will be.

According to the source, Sony is considering the distance it should put between its SKUs. Thus far, the high-end and entry-level PlayStation 3 consoles feature a main difference of 40GB of hard drive space. The original launch 20GB machine, besides being deficient by 40GB, was also without flash card readers and Wi-Fi when compared with the 60GB model. The later release of the 40GB, aside from storage space, also was without flash card readers and PS2 backwards compatibility when compared to the 80GB model.

Despite such feature differences, Sony may feel that the two SKUs aren’t diverse enough for consumers to take notice. "There are a lot of different strategies under consideration, but nothing is final yet. They are considering ways to put some relevant distance between the two PS3 SKUs, but it's unclear how that will roll out," the source indicated.

Meanwhile, the Japanese market is going forward with only the 40GB model, though available in the three different colors of Clear Black, Ceramic White and Satin Silver.

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I miss the good old days...
By TerranMagistrate on 2/5/2008 5:35:03 PM , Rating: 5
Where there was one PS1, PS2, Xbox, etc.

At least Nintendo is following that old tried-and-true formula of one official SKU with the Wii.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By MDE on 2/5/2008 5:51:20 PM , Rating: 5
Too bad they STILL can't make enough of them.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By Mitch101 on 2/5/2008 6:05:14 PM , Rating: 5
Isnt the Wii going to eventually come in different colors?

Oh no the chaos! ;)

RE: I miss the good old days...
By jonrem on 2/5/2008 11:20:55 PM , Rating: 4
Does this mean that my Tri-Force gold Wii won't match my Tri-Force Gold 52" Bravia or my Tri-Force Gold Onkyo 805?

RE: I miss the good old days...
By BruceLeet on 2/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: I miss the good old days...
By wallijonn on 2/6/2008 10:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Isnt the Wii going to eventually come in different colors?

The Wii-2 was/is supposed to have a DVD player. But why bother when demand is outstripping production? Different colours usually come out when no one is buying the darn thing, to make one last desperate appeal to the consumer.

As it is the PS3 is now available overseas in white and may soon be available in silver. If Sony split it up such that the colour represented the size of the disc drive then people will probably buy according to colour and not according to disc size.

Personally, I would rather see the next PS3 be in an entertainment enclosure, the same size as a stand alone Blu-ray player. Then they can throw in a 500GB HD if they so choose and market it to the home entertainment enthusiast.

But if they really want to impress me, make a Wii type controller.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By jtyson on 2/5/2008 6:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
Now that you mention it, I'm not sure that we won't see a second Wii SKU make an appearance. I mean, it's not inconceivable.

Part of me kind of wishes Nintendo would release a more beefed Wii SKU, but the other part of me wants to see them succeed with just the one, original SKU.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By bhieb on 2/6/2008 9:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
but the other part of me wants to see them succeed with just the one

I think even if the Wii stop selling today, it would still be considered a success.

I think Nintendo is smart enough to know that adding SKU's is almost always a sign of slow sales. The only reason to introduce more sku's is to tap into another sales market because demand for your product as-is is not what you expected. Adding different SKU's costs the company a lot of money, so doing so is purely to drive up sales. Plus if the Wii ever needed an accessory like a bigger drive, they would just sell it as an add-on because that is where they make a killing.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By sdoorex on 2/5/2008 6:53:24 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget the SP2 slim. That would count as a different SKU for the PS2, would it not? Wasn't there also a redesigned PS1?

RE: I miss the good old days...
By Etsp on 2/5/2008 7:01:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the PSOne.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By daftrok on 2/5/2008 7:09:24 PM , Rating: 1
Not true. The PS2 slim replaced the old PS2 design as did the PS1 slim replace the old PS1. Its way too soon for the PS3 to be made slim but my predictions for the 2nd SKU are this:

-120 or 160GB HDD
-Flash reader
-Dualshock 3 (might be included with 40GB PS3)
-No backwards compatibility (BC).
-Free game
-HDMI cable
-$499 price point.

The PS2 had two major components:
1) The Emotion Engine (EE) as its CPU
2) The Graphics Synthesizer (GS) as its GPU

Both the 20GB and 60GB PS3 had EE and GS and the 80GB PS3 only had the GS. People called this software emulation but it was really 1/2 software and 1/2 hardware. The 40GB PS3 didn't have the EE nor the GS hence losing its BC.

My theory is that Sony is concentrating more on Playstation Home and development on more of its CURRENT GEN games. Once the PS3 is in a good place and they start to make a nice profit, they can focus more on pure software emulation for its PS2 and PS1 games.

Frankly I think the 40GB PS3 should be replaced by this new SKU that I predicted above and maintain a $399 price point. That will really start to put the hurting on the 360's pricing strategy and might even force them to price drop.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By Aikouka on 2/6/2008 8:26:25 AM , Rating: 2
The point of them mentioning the redesigns were to show that the consoles had a different SKU unlike the original poster that was reminiscing about the "Single SKU Days" suggested.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By daftrok on 2/6/2008 9:53:05 AM , Rating: 3
But there weren't two different SKUs being sold simultaneously. Sony stopped making the big PS2 and started to make the slim PS2. In these days they are making two different models of the same system. There's a difference.

RE: I miss the good old days...
By Aloonatic on 2/6/2008 4:34:48 AM , Rating: 1
...when we waited for actual news rather than having front loaded media based on rumour and "leaked" information being treated as if it has actually happened.

News is news, rumour is rumour, the two have been blurred too much IMHO.

Maybe I shouldn't have stayed up playing CoD4 all last night, I'm in a grumpy mood this morning.

now there's some news fit to print!

How about Drive Free
By Mitch101 on 2/5/2008 5:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't understand why they have to be in the hard drive business. Just sell the consoles drive less and let the consumer use off the shelf hard drives. Just give guidelines to 20gig = good for saved games 120gig+ = good for movie download service will hold X number of movies.

RE: How about Drive Free
By grampaw on 2/5/2008 5:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
Since SONY isn't about to sell a HDD free console, I already replaced the HDD in my two PS3s (60GB SKU and 40 SKU units) with 250GB HDDs. I figure I have all bases covered for whatever SONY has up their sleeve...

RE: How about Drive Free
By Alpha4 on 2/5/2008 8:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Do the original PS3 HDD's use proprietary connectors in any way? I was thinking of surprising a relative with a 120gb HDD for his PS3 and then throw the 20gb in a 2.5" enclosure. Would that be do-able?

RE: How about Drive Free
By Bigjee on 2/5/2008 9:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yup just get a compatible enclosure.

RE: How about Drive Free
By TerranMagistrate on 2/5/2008 9:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
Originally equipped PS3 HDDs aren't proprietary in any way. It s the standard 2.5" laptop HDD type.

RE: How about Drive Free
By Carl B on 2/5/2008 10:49:43 PM , Rating: 3
SATA, not PATA - a very important difference for anyone that goes shopping for one.

Anyway, I replaced my 20GB drive (launch console and proud of it!) immediately with a 120GB drive I bought off of Newegg. Today for the same price (~$80) you could probably do 160GB, which is quite decent. Especially relative to the 360 upgrade costs.

RE: How about Drive Free
By Omega215D on 2/6/2008 2:14:40 AM , Rating: 2
"I figure I have all bases covered for whatever SONY has up their sleeve..."

if you did then you wouldn't have bought 2 of them =P

RE: How about Drive Free
By gramboh on 2/5/2008 5:57:28 PM , Rating: 3
They are probably taking some margin on the higher priced skus above and beyond what their cost is on the hard drives. They probably also want to avoid potential issues with consumers seeing the device as requiring too many 'add-on' external devices (e.g. memory cards with previous generation consoles, MS HD-DVD addon drive etc)

RE: How about Drive Free
By nwrigley on 2/5/2008 6:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
You are thinking like an enthusiast. The average customer isn't going to put in their own hard drive, no matter how simple it may seem to us. Consoles are supposed to be plug and play devices.

RE: How about Drive Free
By tirminyl on 2/5/2008 7:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
As someone mentioned, you are thinking like an enthusiast. From a consumer standpoint, no one is going to go by a HDD separately and put it in their PS3. They are going to wonder why it didn't come in the box when they purchased it. From a development standpoint, you are splitting your user base, just as Microsoft has done with the Core/Arcade models. This also goes against the digital distribution Sony (as well as other companies) are pushing for as well.

My take on their next SKU- 160gb, DS3, with a pack-in such as Ratchet and/or Uncharted. They already provide a similar package overseas.

RE: How about Drive Free
By mles1551 on 2/6/2008 3:12:53 AM , Rating: 2
Well they bought the 360 and took the time to send it in to get repaired so is it a strectch for them to pick HDDs (on a base model)? Yet again it works on the 360 (Arcade no HDD).

The 360 has sold very good so why shouldn't Sony take a page out of M$'s book?

RE: How about Drive Free
By boogle on 2/6/2008 4:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
It would be horrible if Sony removed the HD from an SKU. Some games require a partial installation on the HD to even work.

Not to mention there will have to be a return to memory cards, something I'd rather forget even existed. They're expensive, tiny, easily lost, and hardly reliable.

The HD-less X360 is the biggest faux pais in the current console market imo. People who buy it can barely download any of the content from Xbox Live, and it only takes a few auto-saving games to fill up a 64MB card. This leaves the customer forced to purchase a ludicrously over-priced HD addon. I've filled my 20GB Xbox drive on multiple occasions just through trailer and demo downloads.

60GB model was the best offered by Sony.*
By EglsFly on 2/5/2008 8:31:07 PM , Rating: 2
The 60GB model was the best one so far ever offered by Sony. Had decent hard drive space, wireless networking, card readers, and PS2 hardware backwards compatibility.
*For previous PS2 owners.

Otherwise, 80GB model.

RE: 60GB model was the best offered by Sony.*
By Johnmcl7 on 2/5/2008 9:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
Best in spec but in terms of sales the stripped down 40GB model seems to have done well in terms of sales.


By wallijonn on 2/6/2008 10:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
in terms of sales the stripped down 40GB model seems to have done well in terms of sales.

This past Holiday season supposedly more people bought the 80GB version than the 40GB version. One would have thought it'd be the other way around if price was the only consideration. But it wasn't.

My recommendation..........
By Bigjee on 2/5/2008 9:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
I would recommend that Sony keep a single SKU till oct. or nov. (i.e. keep the 40gb bundled with spidey but at 349.99 yup thats $50 less than right now). When the holiday season nears they should come out with a bundle that is better than the elite and costs about $459.99 having tihs new product (supposedly at 160 or 200gb) will sell. But for now it should just lower the price of the 40gb to $349.99

Other variations could be a MGS4 limited edition console kinda like the star wars thing they did with the psp.

I could be wrong but i think thats a pretty good model. Again i aint no donald trump.

RE: My recommendation..........
By mles1551 on 2/6/2008 3:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
A RFOM2 bundle would be nice to see, maybe include the Greatest Hits RFOM game as well for those interested in the story. RFOM2 should be a huge holiday title for Sony.

Hopefully MGS4 will be out several months earlier and will already be platinum by the time Xmas rolls around.

I just don't get it...
By xphile on 2/6/2008 3:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
Not in ANY other area of current technology would two or more even partially sane people stand together and discuss the merits of how a company might be coming up with a suitable plan to "put some relevant distance between the two SKUs" when they were talking about hard drives ALL less than 100 GB in size.

Dear god if somebody offered me a hard drive under 250GB for ANY purpose today I'd simply laugh at them.

20 to 60 is 40, yes

40 to 80 is 40... uh huh

yadda yadda

In the meantime the average has gone from 200 to 320, whoops no I lie the sweet spot in pricing is now 400 where I live, I know I just bought 2 the other day. Yes that's 3.5 inch, yes these are 2.5 inch, but lord don't try and snow me that 40 GB is still the standard differential as 18 months just wooshed by, or that 80GB is anything but utterly pitiful now in itself even for the LOWEST end SKU even at 2.5 inches.

You want to create some relevant distance Sony? Try this cheap move and you'll impress the crap out of me. Redesign your PS3 internals (esp now you're saving space) and use a 3.5 inch drive. I don't cart my PS3 around meetings or airplanes, so a 2.5 inch drive means zero to me. Now stuff that puppy with a 750GB mutha and sell it to me for $75 more than the crap 80GB model.

Now when you call it a multimedia capable device I will sit up and listen and stop choking on my tongue in a fit of convulsive laughter.

Learn from experience
By crystal clear on 2/6/2008 3:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
SCEI is currently holding meetings to settle on what the next package will be.

Whatever the package, they better PRICE it right or its just a waste of time.

Experience has shown PS3 doesnt sell at those previously high prices-let it compete with the Xbox in price & performance.

PS3 has to compete not only with the Xbox but also with the PS2.

By Ravenlore on 2/7/2008 11:47:28 AM , Rating: 2
PS3 449
-BC WIth PS2 componets
-HDMI cables
-Memory card reader
-free game

PS3 399
20GB model with nothing added
-no bc
no ETC

There must be a big difference to apeal to people who either want to save a few bucks and not be forced into getting extras and those who like extras.

imagine the 2nd wii sku
By nerdye on 2/6/08, Rating: -1
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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